When my oldest daughter was in her senior year in college she called me to help her assist with interviews for a school project. First and foremost, I was proud that she felt I had something important to say, and secondly, I was thrilled she showed interest in my life. The subject matter dealt with sexual abuse in adolescents. She grew up knowing my experience with sexual abuse because I always shared this information with her, in hopes she would never experience this herself, and for the most part, it was kinda true. But I digress.
The thing I will remember from this interaction was her comment to me that she was proud of me as a parent and admired me as a Black woman. The reason she felt this way was that I raised her and her sister (for the most part, as a single-parent), worked multiple jobs at one time, put myself through college as a returning adult student, paid our bills, feed, clothed and housed them. She simply did not know how I was able to do all this, alone, with children and constant responsibility. I believe her comment to me was, “Mom, I don’t know how you did all you did because I can barely go to school without losing my mind, and you did all you did while raising me and Z.” Z is my youngest daughter’s nick-name. When she said those words to me, I knew she finally got it. That being a parent is about being able to raise a child into adulthood, so that they are stable and a contributing member in society. That that child will one day grow up and be a vital part of this world. It was at this moment that I knew I was successful as a parent. This interaction with her was all the proof I needed that I’d done a good job with her. It was not always easy and we fought a lot during her teenage years about teenager versus parent things, but we survived.
I am proud to say, not only did she finish her undergrad work and earn her B.S. but she is currently a second-year graduate student, at Howard University, working on her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. The best part is when she’s done; I can probably get free therapy, or at the very least be her top case study!
Dedicated to my babies who helped raise me into the woman I am today — Muwah!
© CV Davis – Author